The Reel

Reel Movie Reviews for Real People.

Brothers – Movie Review


Starring Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Sam Shepard
Directed by Jim Sheridan

Rated: R
Run Time: 110 mins
Genre: Thriller/ Drama/ War
5 frames out of 5

Many things can tear a family apart. Death. Infidelity. Suspicion. War. But if two people truly love one another can they keep it together to save their family?

Brothers is an adaption of the movie Brothers by Susanne Bier. Capt. Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is about to be shipped out on another deployment to Afghanistan. As he’s about to leave, his brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal) is released from prison. In typical family fashion, during a going away/ welcome home dinner tensions rises between Sam and Tommy’s father Hank (Sam Shepard) making his feeling quite clear on where he stands with his sons. Sam has always been the perfect son with the great family and beautiful wife, Grace (Natalie Portman). Tommy has never lived up to his fathers standards and is always comparing him to Sam.

While over in Afghanistan, Sam’s helicopter is shot down and he reported dead. News of this reaches Grace and she can’t quite accept that Sam is gone. Her grief is so much at times that she cannot get out of bed. Sam’s death shakes Tommy out of his brother’s shadow and into life. He steps up to be a better role model and friend in Grace and the girl’s lives. As Tommy, Grace and the girls start to heal from the loss of Sam, news reaches Grace that Sam is alive and coming home. Sam’s homecoming is bittersweet as he tries to readjust to life as he once knew it. His mood is darker, patience next to zero and is suspicious of his loved ones.

For those who have loved ones that have gone overseas and experienced the brutality of war, Brothers does an excellent job of showing both points of view of soldiers and the people in their life. For those that don’t understand why people act a certain way after experiencing any sort of trauma, this film is a good way to bridge the gap and gain some insight. What these men and women go through while serving overseas, some may or may not agree with, but they are doing their job and they deserve our respect. Tobey Maguire gives a powerhouse performance so convincing, your heart breaks for him. Although the content of this film is quite heavy, it is broken up by many light, humorous moments that help to overcome the darker scenes.

Things to watch for: Solid performances by Portman, Maguire, Gyllenhaal and Sheppard. The two girls that play Isabelle (Bailee Madison) and Maggie (Taylor Geare) are scene stealers and have a promising career in acting. The Afghanistan scenes are hard to watch due to the brutal content. Expect this to be on the radar in the upcoming awards season.

Who should see this movie:
Friends and family members of those who serve in the military,

See it in the Theater or Rent it on DVD: See it in the theater and own this one on DVD – it will be worth it.


December 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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